With spring around the corner, experts with The Mercer Society (TMS) are preparing a lineup of old favorites and new cultivars set to transform your garden this spring.
TMS Grower Brandon Hubbard gives an overview of some of the plants that will be available at this year’s March Mart.
“We are focusing on collecting and cultivating unusual and unique plant species that people won’t find anywhere else,” said Hubbard. “Shoppers will find a few rare plants and specimens that have been difficult to collect for years.”
Trees and Shrubs will be a highlight at March Mart this year, plus a variety of hydrangeas featuring pink, purple, white, and blue blooms.
Hubbard advises shoppers to be on the lookout for the purple pillar hibiscus, which is the first hibiscus plant to feature a columnar shape. With its profusion of purple ruffled flowers and distinctive shape, Hubbard said the plant should be popular among gardeners who love the look of hibiscus, but have a narrow space to fill.
“This plant will become a showpiece in many people’s gardens,” said Hubbard.
Another March Mart standout is the Tahitian flame ginger. Known for its fragrant flowers and variegated foliage, this hardy perennial is easy to grow and adds interest to any landscape. Ginger lovers will also find other rare and hard-to-find gingers reflective of Mercer’s famous ginger collection.
Shoppers with shady spots to fill can brighten up their gardens with Thelma’s pink justicia, named after Mercer’s own Thelma Mercer, which features vibrant pink pine-cone-shaped blooms. Golden plume is another tropical plant, similar to Thelma’s pink, boasting fuzzy yellow spikes and dark green foliage. For an exotic groundcover, gardeners can try the shade-loving farfugium plant. With its bright yellow flowers and rounded evergreen leaves, this plant will add lushness to any garden.
Shoppers can also expect to see the popular Texas Bluebonnet and milkweed to attract butterflies to the garden. Returning to March Mart this year is the Edibles and Herbs section with veggies and herbs, such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and more.
“Pepper lovers should be on the lookout for the super-hot trinidad scorpion pepper plants cultivated from my home garden,” said Hubbard. “It’s perfect for making hot sauce!”
The public is invited to attend March Mart Saturday, March 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Mercer’s East Side Gardens. VIP early access is available for those with qualifying TMS membership levels Friday, March 16 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Early entry for all other TMS members starts Saturday, March 17 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Find out how to purchase or upgrade your TMS membership by visiting http://themercersociety.org/ways-to-give/memberships/
March Mart will coincide with the opening of Mercer’s East Side Gardens, which has been closed since August due to significant flood damage from Hurricane Harvey.
“Mercer staff have worked hard all winter recovering plants in preparation for our spring grand reopening,” said Mercer Interim Director Jim Nutter. “Even if you’re not in the market for new plants, we encourage you to see how the gardens are progressing.”
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